5 things to help you stay sober…

Five things that helped me stay sober in early sobriety:

One of the challenging parts of our journey in recovery is when we find ourselves “days in” sobriety. Our bodies and minds are in a physical and mental shock. We have a tornado of thoughts and emotions spinning off in our mind pushing us to take some type of action. Anything to make the unfamiliar reality we find ourselves in just go away. At this point we usually pick up and use or drink. However here are five things that I did (out of the many!) that helped me “hold on” in early sobriety.

1. Journal, which is blogging the old fashion way
2. Make the decision, not to make any decisions.
3. Do nothing. For the first time in your life, do nothing and “hold on.”
4. Stay off the phone and social media, (except for this blog!).
5. Priorities. This actually should be first on the list.

For an added bonus, here’s five more!

1. Don’t picture your life without drugs and alcohol, just picture your life.
2. Go to some type of support group, even if it kills you!
3. Make a commitment to change, because that what it’s all about!
4. Pick one person to be accountable too, preferably not your dealer!
5. Have a plan, if you don’t prepare, then you prepare to fail!

This is really good stuff! Look out later this week as I start to break down all ten things that helped me stay sober with personal stories from my own recovery!

Keeping it sober,

j

Keeping a journal in early sobriety can be used as a great tool later on!
Keeping a journal in early sobriety can be used as a great tool later on!

Random Thoughts- The Recovery Afterwards

In early sobriety, I’m talking days in, when can’t imagine life without using and drinking. Just the idea of life without,  baffles and scares us. That’s because we are imagining life without drugs and alcohol with the “addict us” in mind. As the days of sobriety slowly grow around us, we change. And eventually their is a “new us” who can’t imagine life when we used and drank.

KIR,

j

Financial Debt in Sobriety :(

One of the things I struggled with after I got sober was financial amends. One of the first things or steps rather when transitioning back in life is putting the pieces back together of all the wreckage I had done. Like sobriety, this is a process and can not be done in one day. Or in my case, years.
So, I’m sober, I worked the steps, back with the family and I finally get a second to look over all my debt, which before I could careless about, however now I do want to start paying off. And it took me 2 years in sobriety to say to myself, “Ok, I want to start paying off my debt.”
So even getting to this point and looking at all the credit cards, utilities, cell phone bills, cable and Internet defaults can extremely overwhelming. Especially when you have you have your other daily, weekly and monthly fixed cost. So here are a few tips that I gathered that might help relieve the stress.

1) Your Sobriety. Make sure its solid. Make sure you are doing the daily deal and keeping up your recovery. Make you sure you understand your sobriety comes first, and I like hold in my back pocket the fact, that if worst comes to worst, all I need to do today is stay sober.

2) It would be a great idea if you had a steady job! I would not recommend trying to pay the world off with your first check. Get to a point where you can spare the extra cash, which takes us to our next tip.

3) Priorties. This is huge. So you have your debt, your regular bills, and you have .45 cents in your bank account. What do I pay off first? Well. priorities say, take care of yourself and your family first. Build up a little savings. Make sure you have the money for your bills first, then savings, then the left over can go towards whatever. There is no sense in being completely broke, it just ads stress. Your debt is going no where, remember as long as we are making a sincere effort, its all good!

4)What bill to pay first? If you like me, during my addiction I racked up over a dozen bills of debt. And let me add I am currently no where near clearing my debt. So how do I pick whats first? If I have the money to pay off an entire bill I do it. If not, I pick the largest and set up payments however during that period, I do not pay anything else off. Or you could pin the bills up on the wall and throw darts!

So this just my experience, this isnt set to stone. Basically find you way and get it done. However you absolutely have to keep your sobriety first or the rest of it really doesn’t matter.

KIR,

j

1-21-15 Sobriety, Priorities & Balance: In that order.

tornado
In early recovery (and I’m talking days in), little bits and pieces of your life spins and turns all around you like little tornadoes, headed in a direction unknown and unsettling. It is impossible to deal with the wreckage of our past in day one, but important to ease our minds from all these different little calamities, as least for the moment. So we put ourselves on a schedule until one day we wake and things are better.
Its small things first. Wake up. Take a walk. Brush my teeth. Eat breakfast. Little things we can handle that are right in front of us. Little things we can control and accomplish daily. For example, I went to four recovery meetings a day for the first six months or so. That was my only daily goal. I could not handle working on my marriage, finances, the kids, the pets or life. I could only handle going to meetings all the time.
In time, I added a job to my schedule. A few hours a night I would deliver the newspaper. I kept that job for over a year. But it was still part of my daily schedule that included, waking up, meetings, pick up the kid from school, walk the dogs and then goto work.
In about eighteen months my life became manageable. I started planning out my weeks and even months. I could allow and handle more people come into my life. I understand my amends, financial and personal and more so understood I could not fix everything in one day. With my “staying sober today” card holding strong in my back pocket, I could also go back to just “don’t use or drink today” if things got hectic.
Nearly two years in sobriety, instead of playing that card at problems I couldn’t not handle, I started handling problems that challenged me on a daily basis. And I succeeded at most of them.
Then suddenly my life is sturdy and stable. I have sobriety in tact, my daily schedule down and the confidence and willingness to handle daily problems when they come.
Then one day (like today) you wake up, and there are no more tornadoes spinning around you like angry bees. My mind can rest and my focus clear. Its a wonderful feeling. I know longer have to schedule every bit of my day, and lax a little more to let the day unfold the way my higher power wants it to unfold. There are just some things I absolutely have no control over and that’s OK today. Its just simply OK.

KIR,

j

Sobriety, Priorities and Balance: In that order.

1-10-15

On some days I still feel challenged.

God, please keep me sober.

The images, memories and thoughts dance in my mind teasing the idea that life could go back to being the same.

God please keep me sober.

Id doesn’t matter how much sober time I have.

God please keep sober.

Or how great I think my life is going.

God please keep me sober.

The thought of picking up again, always seems like a good idea.

God please keep me sober, God please keep me sober, God please keep me sober.

KIR,

J

22 Months: Clean and Sober!

I am not sure exactly where my sobriety started. The day I went back to treatment, the day I got out, or maybe the day I got a job. The clean date is exactly 22 months ago, however the “sober thinking” if you will, came so much longer.
If you stay clean and sober long enough, your life automatically gets better.
And if you hang on a little longer, you learn how to deal with what other normal people have dealt with their entire lives, good or bad, which is “life!”
Hold on to that sobriety and you start to figure out little things about yourself. “Oh, I’m a greedy, smartass, compulsive shopaholic, even sober! So it wasn’t the drugs and alcohol, well then maybe there is some things I need to work on.
Gain a few more weeks living clean, and then you catch yourself smiling. Maybe even a chuckle.
Manage to put together a length of time living sober, and your priorities, family and financial start to sort themselves out. Hobbies become hobbies and not some out of reach fairy tale you blow everything off for in search of, and you realize, yeah its probably a good idea to get a job and work around that.
If you keep sober, you start to remember your life in the past, before you started using and drinking, then you realize the reflection of your innocent past, is really who you are today, and not that person in addiction you thought you were.
And if you stay sober a little bit longer, your hit 22 months, and counting.

I start my day in sobriety, everything else comes second. Everything.

j

I can guarentee one thing in sobriety!

I heard a guy in a meeting once say, “If you stay sober long enough, you will relive your life over, sober, I guarantee it.”
It’s been my experience so far, 21 months sober, that the statement rings true, if you stay sober long enough.
Feeling and experiencing emotions that I had not felt since a kid, good or bad, is a pretty cool deal. Not drinking or using over it is even better.
I am convinced that mentally, that we get to a point in our sobriety that we do go back to the point when we started using and drinking to cover up feelings that we didn’t want or know how to deal with. So in a sense, at 39, I’m mentally growing up again.
I think with given time in sobriety, one can look back and figure out somethings. Maybe what the true root of our addiction without even trying. And the exciting, cool part of it is that it just comes to us, again, if we stay sober long enough.
I can be driving, and a thought, a flash, a memory comes to me from my childhood, maybe a missing part of my past that makes a lot things suddenly make sense, or a story that I remembered one way, but it really happened anther way. Its like our brains clear up and for the first time, well for me two decades, it functions without toxins.
I dont know, its some new and weird stuff for me. And what I do know, the key is to keep doing what ever kind of recovery your doing, on a daily basis, no matter what. Spirituality, sobriety, balance, meditation, exercise, taking action and applying sobriety and recovery to all our daily affairs, on good or bad days however you define them, will get you there. That, I guarantee!

Im grateful to be here, and grateful to share!

j

21 Months Sober.

Twenty-one months sober today. I did not realize it until I saw the date on the morning paper. So nearly two-years ago, my life was, well…over. That’s what it felt like. No strength, no hope, no future and no life. It was so hard to break the cycle of addiction. Unless your an addict, you have no idea.
So Ive been working on a manuscript for the past couple of years of what it was like. Pipe Dreams, which will hopefully be available as an E-Book in the next six months is such a much bigger story than the using and drinking. It takes you into the mind of an addict. It’s a love story of getting back with my family. It will inspire the addict and their loved ones, that people can recover.
The title derived from a period of my life when my wife and girls moved out. I would lock myself in the master bedroom’s bathroom, and load up my meth pipe while sitting on the toilet. One morning, I looked at my pipe, and just saw my dreams and goals going up in smoke. So, I took another hit. And I would the cloud of my dreams evaporate into thin air like a magic trick.
About three chaotic months later I woke up in treatment after a three day meth induced psychosis. And that, was just the beginning!

j

9-24-14 Sobriety, Blogging and my third cup of coffee!

I am finally starting to settle down. My life has been out of sync for the past two weeks with the show, the press box and high school broadcasting. My major stress is money, however I have put everything in front of my sobriety and I am trying now to get my life aligned back with my recovery. Its easy to get distracted from your daily sobriety goals when life starts to speed up, especially if its going good. So I have to literally break my day down into little small goals, even at over 21 months sober. This second I need to brush my teeth, then wash my face, next decide on a shirt to wear. That how detailed I have to break my life down sometimes. Its also easy to forget the small yet priceless joys of life, like my daughter clinging onto my neck, my wife starting a simple conversation about whatever, Kenny, one of three dogs, jumping up on my lap, and feeding Colt from under the dining room table at dinner time. Typing my blog, in the morning after my paper route, while working on my third cup of coffee. So when my life gets crazy, with the good or bad, I break it down to the simple things and I realize once again I am truly grateful and blessed to start my day, sober.